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West African markets continue to attract FDI: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to West African countries increased 12 per cent to US$11.4bn in 2016, supported by recovering investment in Nigeria, recent analysis conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reported

According to the analysis, FDI inflows into Sub-Saharan Africa amounted to US$45.9bn in 2016, marking an 8 per cent decline from the previous year. The drop was largely attributed to the impact of lower commodity prices on producing countries in the region.

The main recipients of FDI inflows in 2016 were the diversified producers of East Africa region, led by Ethiopia which saw inflows surge 46 per cent to US$3.2bn during the year. Infrastructure and manufacturing were identified as key sectors attracting the highest levels of FDI in the country, while Mauritius and Madagascar also saw steady inflows.

Ghana was the third largest FDI recipient in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, recording inflows of US$3.5bn and 9 per cent annual growth. The increase was supported by steady inflows to the country’s oil and gas sector, as well as regional FDI in the area of cocoa processing.

Although progress and development varied across the region, the majority of African countries achieved income growth, a reduction in poverty, and improvements in infrastructure, health, and education. 

Despite the overall decline in real GDP growth for the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 2016, a number of countries in the region saw strong economic growth during the year such as Ethiopia which grew by 8 per cent, while Senegal saw growth of 6.6 per cent. Kenya and Rwanda recorded a growth rate of 6 per cent. 

Trade figures for 2016 revealed that a majority of merchandise exports from Sub-Saharan Africa were primary products which accounted for around 78.7 per cent of total exports. Exports of manufactured products accounted for 21.4 per cent of all exports during the same year. The main primary exports included fuel, raw materials, pearls, precious stones, and agricultural products 4 per cent.

The analysis is based on data from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and was released by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as it prepares to host the 4th Global Business Forum on Africa in Dubai on 1 - 2 November 2017.